In the beginning of this school term, I was nervous about how I was going to balance my time. This was my first time being completely on my own and I was concerned that with all the free time that I’d have, I would lose motivation to study or do homework and instead binge-watch shows on Netflix.
But then I joined APO, Alpha Phi Omega, which requires participation including: six hours of service hours, four hours of fellowship (meeting with five or more members of APO and hanging out with them for an hour) and pledges have to attend four chapter meetings. This outline of what I needed to get done helped me spring my organization into action. I synced my phone calendar with my laptop’s and then manually put in my schedule for the rest of the term. I read every email I was sent and actually signed up for those volunteer opportunities. I decided that every Thursday I would participate in Reading Buddies, and that I would sign up for tabling hours here and there. With this new found determination to start this term with an organized life, I felt happy. I color coordinated my calendar: Dark green for my own personal plans, light green for volunteer events, yellow for my suite’s meetings, brown for my APO meetings or events, blue for my SASS meetings and orange for The Knox Student. Looking at my calendar now gives me joy, and it really helps me find time to do my homework, accomplish extracurricular activities and have moments for myself.
In my free time, I try to work out at the gym and when I do that, I’ve noticed that I’m more focused when completing assignments. While it seems that there are so many better things you can be doing, rather than spending an hour at the gym, it really helps your mind relax because once you get into the idea that you’re working out your mind’s focus is taken away from what has to be done when you get home. It’s a break that your body benefits from physically and mentally.
When I was talking about my color coordinated calendar, I mentioned SASS, Students Against Sexism in Society. This club has given me a sense of belonging, the first day that I attended I knew that I’d stick with them. Now, I’m one of the first-year representatives and the secretary for the club. Sharing input with the group and creating events makes me so happy. We recently all went down to Safe Harbor’s Take Back the Night event and while I was there with them, I was also volunteering for APO. It’s always a nice thing when the two organizations you are a part of care about some of the same things. I’ve noticed people from a group participating in other groups and the way Knox’s clubs intertwines with each other is so interesting.
After joining clubs, meeting people, and planning walks to town, some people may look at my calendar and think that I’m very busy, but when I look at my calendar I feel balanced and content. I highly recommend always having some sort of calendar to plan out your week because it will give you the power to determine how you want to spend your free time and take an effective break from doing schoolwork.